Beattie Intenscreen

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by pstake, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. pstake

    pstake Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have been contemplating putting one on my RTS II. I'm wondering if anyone has experience before and after installing one. The RTS has a fairly bright screen to begin with, and pretty good snap. That said, I still sometimes have trouble finding the focal point when using wide-angle lenses with already-large depths of field (namely my Distagon 28mm 2.8).

    I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has installed an Intenscreen on any camera (preferably 35mm but not necessarily a Contax).
     
  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If the viewfinder of the RTS II is the same as the RTS which only has a magnification of 0.87X then perhaps you need a different camera with a larger viewfinder instead of just a screen?
     
  3. pstake

    pstake Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't understand how that would affect anything, Les. Are you saying that magnification nearer to 1 would make focusing easier than having a brighter image inside the viewfinder at .87?
     
  4. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    IN
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    trust yourself.
     
  5. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    To be sure, you have to try it yourself but the larger the magnification the better the ability to manual focus. An obvious example is by using a magnifier as shown below.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. pstake

    pstake Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks!

    Thank you, CJ!
     
  7. pstake

    pstake Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well ... the magnifier for my RTS is a bit cheaper than a new focus screen but it's more conspicuous than I'd like. I've looked into it before, used to use a magnifier on my Pentax 6x7 ... but i quickly learned that its only practical value is in controlled situations such as studio portraits, long-exposure tri-pod work and the like. I shoot predominantly street and documentary work. I also have no intention of abandoning my RTS system.

    Still would like to hear from folks who have installed Beatties in their 35mm ... come on ... i know you're out there!

    If/when I end up installing one, I will post my impressions here (for future folks like moi)

    Analog power!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2012
  8. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,530
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't have a 35mm SLR with a Beattie screen, but I have one for my Mamiya C330F TLR. and it's two stops brighter than the standard one, the only disadvantage is for what it cost me when I bought it new I could buy another Mamiya TLR.
     
  9. pstake

    pstake Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes ... they are pricey, Ben ... did the increased brightness make it easier to focus? Does your TLR use a waist-level finder? (forgive me if that's a stupid question; i've never used one)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2012
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,530
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have the waist-level finder, and the prism finder and it works equally well with either, but since I have used the camera successfully for about twenty five years with the three Mamiya screens I already own, and have become used to focusing with them, in retrospect although the Beattie is two stops brighter and easier to focus with in low light and it's great to use I could have put the £200 ($380 US D) to a better use.
     
  11. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Location:
    Metro DC are
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wonder why they are so expensive?
    Seems exorbitant to me.
     
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,530
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Without knowing what the production cost and how hi-tech they are are it's impossible to tell what the profit margin is, but they are excellent see here http://www.morco.uk.com/latest/beattie.htm, but if you want one you have to pay the price.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2012
  13. pstake

    pstake Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well ... I ordered one. Will post my impressions in a few weeks.

    I'm sure I could find other places to spend the $135 USD but being able to focus quickly in any light is the prime mover for me. Contax viewfinders are reputedly very bright to begin with but I've almost never used anything else for comparison. I used a Pentax 6x7, seven or eight years ago, on which I missed focus frequently, except when I had a lot of time for set up (ie. architecture / trip-pod work) ... and I had a Pentax Spotmatic SP II just for fun, which had a dismal, dark viewfinder. In low light I always seemed to be guessing.

    But my primary camera has always been a Contax and I've always had fairly good luck with focusing but for most of that time I lived in larger cities / urban areas where a guy can get away with street photographing mostly unnoticed, even if he fiddles with the focus a few extra seconds.

    Now I'm living in rural midwestern America and I find that when I'm taking street photos, I need to be quicker in order not to make people uncomfortable, even if they consent to having their photos taken beforehand. Being able to slide it into sharp focus, quickly, release the shutter, and move along, is my end goal ...
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,530
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For street shooting I use hyper focal distance shooting with a moderate wide angle lens then you don't need to focus or even with practice put the camera up to your eye and still get a very high proportion of in focus shots.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2012
  16. thuggins

    thuggins Member

    Messages:
    429
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have one for an OM, and believe the original Olympus screens are just as good. If anything, the split screen focus is easier to use on the OEM screens.
     
  17. ooze

    ooze Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Location:
    Istanbul, Tu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I had one installed in my medium format Rolleiflex. It's very bright, much brighter than the original Rollei screen, and the picture nicely snaps into focus. Overall I'm happy with it. The only downside, if there is one, is that if the sun falls directly onto it - which does happen with the waistlevel finder - there is considerable flare, so I have to manouver my head the block direct light.
     
  18. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I received a (free) Beattie w/ grid & split image for my F801s a while ago. While I have no trouble focusing with the standard Nikon screen (type B), I was hoping for more accuracy with the split image when using large aperture lenses.

    The Beattie left me a bit disappointed. While it is bright, it has less 'snap' than the Nikon screen, and the split image darkens easily (also with large aperture lenses). The split image in my Canon EOS cameras (OEM Canon) is much much easier to use and looks better made as well.

    The Beattie screen is probably quite old (90's?) and may not be representative of current Beatties, I don't know.
     
  19. pstake

    pstake Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well ... I actually took the plunge and put one on my RTS II. My impression so far is the same as your, Sandermarijn. It's VERY bright and VERY clear, but less snap than the original. Will be using RTS II as my main camera for a while, and will report back here about my impressions as I get more used to it.
     
  20. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I forget to mention that my Beattie screen (w/ grid & split image) threw off the F801s' meter by about -2.7 stops (!) on average. That's alright, sort of, but the deviation wasn't constant over a range of scenes (I checked against an F801 with the standard Nikon screen), which *is* bad. The split image must have been doing some non-linear messing with the meter (that I suppose is in the prism somewhere).

    Fortunately it didn't cost me, otherwise I would have been pretty pissed (with myself, mostly :wink:).

    ps. Sorry about your disappointment pstake. Those original screens might not be that bad after all. Pity that you found out the hard way.
     
  21. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sounds a bit similar to how Nikon H and G screens require different exposures for different lenses (and/or different types of H & G screens).
    How the Leicaflex SL manged to avoid such problems is a real wonder and one I'd love to hear an informed explanation for....
     
  22. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Yukon, OK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    So would it be correct to say that a Beattie would be more appropriate for a TLR/medium format type camera than say a 35mm SLR? I recall some posts way back about the possible improvement on a Mamiya 645 Pro with a Beattie screen but it's been so long ago. I do recall the discussion where an F4 user preferred some of the specific Nikon screens over the Beattie despite the slight and noticable increase in light......I recall the person saying the split screen worked better in the Nikon screens.

    Let me be specific. I have noticed my 124G is much harder to focus now a days than the one I used in 1975 (yes when it was a year or two old), the example I have (from the original owner) seems much darker and yes, I do need a CLA on it, and no I really haven't looked at the mirror hard....but does a Beattie on a 124G really make that big of a difference?

    Bob E.
     
  23. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I never even handled an SL but a quick search suggests that its light meter is located under the mirror, as opposed to in the prism, which would explain a lot.
     
  24. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Indeed!

    Keep forgetting details like that... :D
     
  25. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You may want to try waxing the screen. I have an Ikoflex that was difficult to focus with even though it has a fresnel. I waxed the screen and now it is incredibly bright, even indoors by lamplight. I did it to my Speed Graphic as well and it dramatically improved the brightness of it.

    I don't know how well this would work on a 35mm camera but maybe I will give it a try on a crappy Yashica I have.
     
  26. pstake

    pstake Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think that's a fair assumption. I bet it would benefit your 124G. Even on 35mm the Beattie will help when you're using lenses with small apertures F4, etc.

    I did some reading after I ordered the Beattie, about how the brighter the screen, the less snap it has. This has something to do with the roughness of the surface of the screen. Smoother = brighter. Rougher = more snap. The brighter it gets, the less snap it gives. The relationship is converse so one necessarily affects the other, unfortunately. The original Contax screen had great snap and was pretty bright as well ... but the Beattie is VERY bright and VERY clear. Mine is a split image, and the split image also is more difficult to decipher than on the original screen. All said and done, the time it takes me to focus with either, is about the same (I still have an RTS, with the original screen, for comparison). For microscopic focusing, I would probably want brighter.